Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Study: Boomers Can Boost Savings and Economy by Postponing Retirement

A study by McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) finds that while a vast majority of U.S. Baby Boomers are unprepared for retirement, "enabling them to work longer would significantly benefit both individuals and the broader economy." However, for this to happen both policy makers and business leaders will need to take action. Specifically, by increasing the median retirement age by about two years--from the current 62.6 to 64.1 by 2015—-the share of unprepared boomer households could be halved from 62% to 31%, and the additional workers would boost real GDP growth.

Working longer will generate $12.9 trillion more gross domestic product (GDP) between now and 2025 than would occur under the baseline forecast.
MGI's survey of Boomers' attitudes on retirement shows that 85 percent expect to work later in life. However, there are significant legal and institutional barriers that need to be overcome. They include a variety of disincentives for both employers and older workers, including the costs of America's health care system, the unintended consequences of labor laws and pension regulations, and corporate attitudes toward older workers. The research highlights several areas for action for policy makers and businesses to prevent the Boomers' retirement from becoming a multidecade-long drag on U.S. growth.
Source: McKinsey & Company "Talkin' 'bout my generation: The economic impact of aging U.S. Baby Boomers" (June 2008)

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